I’m Founding A Nonprofit: Should I Pay Myself?

Some leaders want to get their organization off the ground, demonstrate impact, and validate their worth without draining resources during the critical early stages. Others may believe that the organization’s ultimate success (and their ultimate payoff) will increase if they hold off and leverage all resources toward growth.


But sometimes even after an organization has stabilized, founders take no funds or radically less funding than they deserve. I have a few theories about why this is happening.

1. It feels dirty to raise money to pay for yourself.

When you ask for funds, you’re not asking for your salary. You’re asking for someone to enable the organization to buy materials, recruit and train students, build composting infrastructures, educate teachers, principals, and parents, and build community support for the endeavor. It wouldn’t be dirty if you hired someone to do all of that work for you so that you could launch another site. All of a sudden it would be really easy to justify the cost, and the programmatic value. So cut it out, and value your own contributions.

2. There isn’t enough money to cover program costs and salaries.

3. You don’t know how to value your worth.

Source: Huffington Post

Comment (1)

  • Gary Ferguson Reply

    The first rule of personal financial management is – ‘Pay yourself first’. This philosophy in the personal sense ensures that you are building up value for your self over time through your savings.

    If your business has some income/cash flow, then you should ensure that at least a portion is paid to you which you can set aside for savings. Later if needed, you can loan some funds back to the company , but make sure to get a legal cession over assets, this ensures that in the worst case scenario of business closure, at least you will be able to recover some value from the company.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:28 am

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